“Potterversity” Episode 50: “Teaching, the Hogwarts Way”

In the last of our episodes featuring contributors to our book, Potterversity: Essays Exploring the World of Harry Potter, take a look at two very different teachers: Albus Dumbledore and Dolores Umbridge.



Our guests are Dr. M’Balia Thomas (University of Kansas) and Dr. Brent Satterly (Widener University), whose chapters focus on Hogwarts professors. Both found ways to connect with students through Harry Potter and saw examples of what to do and what not to do as a teacher by looking at the Hogwarts faculty. They consider what it means to see teachers through the student perspective in the series but also get an inside look at certain teachers, such as Lupin and Snape, that show us their humanity and give us a sense of compassion toward educators we may forget to have.

In her chapter, “Dumbledorisms: The Idiosyncratic Style of a Hogwarts Headmaster,” M’Balia examines how Dumbledore’s tendency to speak in aphorisms gives the impression of wisdom but doesn’t necessarily connect with students. Brent shares his experience taking on Umbridge, who is the antithesis of him as a social worker, as a drag persona in “Hem Hem… I Take Umbridge with Bigotry: Using the ­Witch-in-Pink to Counter Oppression.”

While we don’t get the full story of all the interactions between students and teachers at Hogwarts, the wizarding world provides opportunities to think more deeply about the context of educational situations.

What would you like to hear more about from our podcast? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email at PotterversityPodcast@gmail.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Laurie Beckoff

My Harry Potter journey began in 2000 when I was six and continued through a bachelor's thesis and master's dissertation on medievalism in the series. I'm a Gryffindor from New York City with a passion for theatre, fantasy, Arthurian legend, and science fiction.